Back in black

Hi everyone, CstM here. I hope you’re all doing amazing. We’ve had better days to be honest.

How was your valentine’s day? We celebrated for the first time since Leggy got the news about his dad passing. We had a nice homemade meal and played the Bill and Ted board game, that Leggy got for Christmas. It was a really fun night. I’d found a copy of a childhood book for Leggy and he got me a nice decoration for the bookshelves.

On the 15th I was in the middle of making dinner when my phone rang. It was my auntie, dad’s sister, calling to tell me that she had found my dad dead.

No one was expecting it. Hell, I had spoken to him on the phone just days before. He’d complained about having pulled his back, but then he’d done that before. Shortly before the lockdowns he’d had surgery for a slipped disk in his back. So no one was too phased by him having back issues. We sure as hell didn’t think he’d turn up dead. I mean last time we saw him was back in September for his 60th birthday.

I’m not sure if I mentioned here, but the parental unit got divorced some years back. It was quite a messy divorce, and my dad was taking it a bit hard. I came over to help the mothership pack, but ended up mostly spending some quality time with my dad. Now my dad was a bit of a quiet man, bit on the gruff side at first sight. So I was very worried about how he’d do after the divorce. How would he deal with being alone. Would he let the bitterness of the divorce eat him up? I remember sitting in the car with him, and telling him something akin to “just because mum did some shitty things, doesn’t mean you let everything go to shit!” He told me later that those words really made a difference in his life. He called up a friend, got a crash course in all things facebook, joined a bunch of single groups and started going to events. The difference was massive. He ended up having a crap ton of friends, even went on several dates. He was getting increasingly harder to get ahold of because he’d be out at parties, concerts and one time even ballet and a fashion show. It was absolutely amazing to see him blossom up. I’m sure he was having the time of his life. He had made plans to come over in the summer with his motorcycle and some friends, to tour Scotland. This guy really didn’t have time to die.

My aunt’s boyfriend was the one who held the eulogy at the funeral, so he contacted me asking for my memories of dad. All I could remember was the silly times we had pranking each other. Like the year I as a teen really wanted the newest Harry Potter book. It was all I talked about and wanted. My birthday comes and I get a small, not book shaped gift. I open it and it’s a Roger Whittaker cd. Now I’m just sitting there thinking “WTF!?” When my dad grabs the cd, pulls of the plastic and happily tells me that surely I want to listen to my new music. My only thought was “I can’t exchange it now!” The bastard the laughed and went to find my real birthday gift, which of course was the newest Harry Potter book.

But yeah, that was my dad. Always doing funny or stupid things to make us laugh or be embarrassed by him. Like when he’d pull his joggers up to his armpits, do a department of funny walks impression and talk about getting a shirt with my picture on it and “she’s my daughter” underneath. In the supermarkets he’d stand in one corner and shout across the shop at my mum, asking if we needed x item. Me as an embarrassed teen would pretend like I didn’t know him by calling him Mr Man (Hr Mand in Danish). Like I’d go up to him and do a whole thing of “you there Mr. Man, who I’ve never met before, are you in need of this cheese?” By time it got shorter and shorter and he got stuck with the nickname of Herman.

Now the Danish coroner was surprisingly speedy. His autopsy was performed within days, and his funeral was two weeks after his passing. Honestly I was not ready for the funeral at all. Even walking up to the church, I was telling Leggy that we could just go to McD instead and pretend like nothing had happened. But in the end I was happy that I went. It was a beautiful ceremony, and turns out I was the only one of my siblings who showed up. One was late, showed up for the wake, and one didn’t show at all.

I chose the sunflowers

The wake was just in dad’s spirit. It was beers and soda at his favourite pub/concert place. Auntie even managed to get his favourite local blues musician to come out and give a concert. I’m sure dad was somewhere really miffed that he was missing out. Especially after the funeral had the family singing twice. I personally thought the guy had suffered enough, but apparently having to listen to our tone deaf bunch is your punishment for dying too early.

I still can’t believe he’s gone. I keep reaching for the phone to tell him about things, just to remember he isn’t there. Hopefully in time it’ll get better.

Behold, I see my father and mother

Hi everyone, CstM here. I hope you’re all doing amazing and living your best lives.

Sadly I’m here with bad news. Cade Fon Apollyon has passed away. Cade was an author in the anthologies, blog writer often seen on Lol, commenter here and cofounder of the Gloom Dog Book Club. He was also a dear friend and an amazing, funny and understanding man.

He passed away in his sleep, of a suspected heart attack, in the early hours after the 4th of July.

I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that he’s gone. I just chatted with him not that long ago.

Cade had a great ability of seeing people and situations from different perspectives. You’d quite often leave a conversation with him with new wisdom or perspective on life/people. He had a patience and understanding, most of us go all life trying to reach.

Cade was the type of friend you could talk about everything with. I don’t know how many nights we spent chatting away about cooking. He even showed videos of him making his famous tomato soup. Several beers died on the sidelines, during the creation of the soup. But it was fun and the soup looked so delicious.

But mostly we just talked about all kinds of random shit. You know that one friend you can just randomly text “Is Mexican cheese made in Mexico? And are all other cheeses just sparkling cheese?” And it turns into a whole conversation about all the weird shit you’ve wanted to talk about, but you didn’t, because you didn’t want to get judged for being weird. Cade was that friend. Nothing was ever too strange and he’d never judge you. He’d find it hilarious, and then give you a serious answer.

This is a picture I’d saved to send to him, knowing he’d find it hilarious and interesting. Plus I’m positive he’d crack some joke about that being the way he attracts the ladies.

Cross stitch was also a big topic. He was the friend I’d go to for input on colour choices. He would always take his time to give you a well thought out opinion. He was always interested and happy to help. And he never got tired of me chatting on about cross stitch, which is a rare gift. He really should have received a medal or something for that. But not only would he listen, he’d actively engage in the topic and compliment my pieces. He was like this with everyone. He was so proud of his children’s creativity and accomplishments.

Cade will be missed tremendously by so many people.

My thoughts go out to his family. I can’t even imagine the pain they must be going through.

Farewell my friend, may we meet once again in Valhalla.

Honky Dory

Hey everyone, CstM here. I hope you’re all doing amazing. I’m just back in for a quick update on Honky. He’s still sticking around, and from one of the comments in the last post it turns out he may be a fantail pigeon. They originate from India, so I have no idea how he ended up in nowhere Scotland. I tried Googling it but I couldn’t find a lot about him. (Yes, I’ve assumed his gender.)

He has however figured out that sunflower seed hearts are way tastier than the regular seed mix. So now that’s all he’s eating. I’m sure Gloom Dog told him about how to hold out for the good stuff. Even Leggy talked about maybe building him a little house and a table for his seeds, so he’s not eating on the ground.

I’ve started cross stitching on some Christmas gifts for the family. We’ll be going back to the motherland in October, for a big family birthday party. I figured since we’ll be travelling anyways, I could bring over some Christmas gifts. After Brexit it’s become a bit of a pain to send things over by post.

Workouts have been going well. I’m starting to see a big improvement in my ability to pick up the steps and getting the arms to work along with the feet. Although there are still some I haven’t wrapped my brain around yet. I guess there’s always room for improvement. My biggest success was doing 1000 steps in 7 minutes. Sweet baby Jesus, that was brutal. I thought I was running a bit behind on my daily steps, so I figured 1000 steps in 7 minutes, how hard can it be? I quickly regretted my life decisions and had sore calfs for days after. I might, maybe come back to it in a months time, to see of there’s any improvement. If I’m dumb enough to think “this’ll be great!” Twice.

I hope you’re all enjoying the summer. Side note, am I the only one who thinks moorhens look creepy as hell? Especially the red eyes.

Edit to add Gloom Dog

Birds and clocks

Hi everyone, CstM here. I hope you’re all doing amazing. Okay, I swear I haven’t been locked up in the attic like some Mrs Rochester. Time just seemed to get away from me. I’m just out here doing my thing, and suddenly it’s been a few months since I did my last blog post. So, how’s everyone doing?

I’m doing pretty good. I had a week of reading a while back. I read pretty much anything but the book club book. I’m somehow still only about halfway through The Help. I don’t know why, I actually quite enjoy it, I just can’t seem to stay with it. I did manage to read 3 YA romance books, The burial hour (book 13 in the Lincoln Rhyme series) and Killing floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series. I saw the Jack Reacher show on Prime and it was really good. Much better than that old Tom Cruise film. So I figured I’d start reading the books. I didn’t realise that there’s like 27 books in the series, so that’s going to take a while. So far I’ve bought up to book 5. You guys want to read book 2 with me? It has fisticuffs and boobs. What more could you want from a book? Well maybe dragons, but let’s not be greedy.

What have you guys been up to? I’m not entirely sure what has happened, but I’ve started working out. To be fair, I guess with all the deaths within family and friends and all the illnesses going around in the world, it’s just made me want to get healthier. During lockdown we already have been trying to implement more greens in our diet, so the next logic step is to move around more.

Leggy thinks I’ve gone borderline insane, which to be fair I don’t blame him. I haven’t been in a gym since school and I was never super athletic. But I’ve found these videos on YouTube, like Jane Fonda, but dance cardio and walk workouts, all to my favourite music. For once in my life I’m actually having fun exercising. It’s only been about a month, so it’s still early days, but I’m having a blast. There’s still some of them that make me huff and puff like an asthmatic seal, but I’m slowly getting better and better.

I got one of those smart watches too. Young people and their tech! It has been quite a big help in making me walk around more. It’s a bit embarrassing when you realise how little you walk around in the beginning. So far I’m aiming for 5000 steps a day and about 20-30 minutes of workout most days. I usually take Sunday and Wednesday as a rest day.

The worst thing about the watch though is the sleep tracker thing. I knew I had pretty bad sleep, but I didn’t realise how bad until this watch started showing me. So I’ve been trying to get that back on track too. Going outside more for fresh air, trying not to drink to much before bedtime and such. The watch also tracks your blood pressure, oxygen levels and all kinds of things that are fun to keep an eye on but I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll ever need it for. But hey, now I know. You can even control your music from the watch and it shows you your text messages. So even out in the wild, you can read that text saying “bring back milk!”

Now another thing Leggy doesn’t understand is my want for workout gear. Like I’m so excited to buy a cute outfit to work out in. But holy bejesus, some of these things are expensive. Leggy keep telling me that I workout in the living room and no one is going to see me. But I just want to look bomb in my outfit and have the lyrics of I’m sexy and I know it going in my head as I strut around. But heck no am I paying 70£ for that privilege. Especially when I’m hoping to go down a dress size or two. That would be a great bonus to getting fit. I shall save and wait, and one day my vision will be real.

Did Leggy tell you about the woodpecker? I’ve been feeding the birds and we have been visited by a woodpecker. He’s a cheeky one. His favourite is the peanuts and when the feeder is empty he will land by the window and knock on it, until I come out and refill the food. He’ll even come to different parts of the house to knock on windows. Leggy put up a camera and he was at the feeder for ages, before a sparrow chased him away. Sometimes he comes and sits on the windowsill and just watches me when I work out. We also have a white dove, Leggy named it Honky. It’s been come around for the last week, getting fed. He did almost become Chompy a couple of times when Gloom dog saw him on the patio.

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer. See you soon

I forgot to add a title 😅

Hi everyone, CstM here. I hope you’re all doing amazing. We’re doing pretty well here. We made it through the storms with only one day of lost power. The power companies website had warned us that we may have been without power for days, so it was a pleasant surprise when the power came back early.

Nothing too exciting has happened here. The savings for dad’s big birthday are well on their way. It is a bit startling in some ways to see how much money you use on tat and fun, when you shave down your spendings. My big splurge this month was a power bank for the various devices, so that I can still be powered up during power cuts. Oh, and dog food.

The cross stitching no buy is also going very well. I’ve been stitching away on some small shark projects and I finished the wedding sampler. Well it still need a date, but since they are aiming for an October wedding, I’m well ahead. The next big project will be dad’s big birthday gift. It’s not due until September, but at least I won’t have to hurry through it.

Speaking of cross stitch, I dyed my own fabric for a project. I got a bottle of Rit dye, just to try it out. I got a tan neutral dye, just something basic as I learn how to do it. Although it turned out to be fairly simple, and quite fun. I may need to invest in some more colours, so I can play around a bit more.

So last month we read Dracula. Whilst I did end up enjoying Dracula, I did have a very hard time getting into it. I started out reading the book, but the language was throwing me off. There was words that I didn’t know, or words used in ways I hadn’t seen before. In the end I found an audiobook version, narrated by Mark Gatiss, which I’d highly recommend. He did a great job of making the story come to life.

I got one of those Audible subscriptions, and I must admit I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoy it. I can cross stitch and “read” at the same time. Plus I’m not sure if I’d made my way through Dracula as a regular book. Honestly there was large chunks where not really much happened. One part that really frustrated me was, when Dracula was on his way to England, Jonathan had just crawled down the castle walls and the suspense was high. I was so curious to see what happened next. What did I get? Letters from Lucy to Mina, and the ladies frolicking at the beach. Yes, I know there was a reason for all of this, but in that moment I couldn’t have cared less about how many proposals Lucy had received in one day.

“She has the brain of a man” He should be happy he didn’t write that book in these days. There’d be a bit of an uproar. Even I had an urge to preform a sceance so that I could have an attempt at kicking him in the gonads.

It seems too, that it’s not even that great of a compliment in the context of the book either. All these men who, profess their love for Mina, completely ignore the fact that Mina is showing the same symptoms as Lucy. These men who doesn’t even think to put up some sort of protection up around her when they send her to bed, whilst they plan. It took Renfield, the insane guy, to make them realise their grave error.

I felt bad for Renfield. It seemed like he realised too late what he was up against. It did seem to me too, that his guilt over what was happening to Mina was getting to him. Him trying to get away was self preservation, but was he also trying to save Mina in a way? May he in his selfishness have been trying to do good?

It weirdly reminds me of this footballer. Years ago I saw an article about how this guy had put up a big social media post about donating leftover food, from a party, to charity.

Now I had a big discussion with someone else about whether or not he was in fact a bit of a dick. My argument was that sure donating food to charities are a great thing, but why would you need to tell it to the world? Hey, look at me, I acted like a decent human being.

The guy was arguing that surely all that mattered was that he donated to charity and why was I so pressed that the footballer got some publicity out of it.

Both scenarios do bring up the question; does doing good out of selfishness cancel out the good deed?

If there is only Dracula and his 3 wives, wouldn’t that make them a dying race? Would there be committees and PETA groups trying to save him from extinction. Because he’s just misunderstood. It’s his culture. The world is overpopulated anyways.

Also wouldn’t there be a daddy Dracula out there somewhere? We don’t really get an origin story, but surely he was made or came from somewhere?

Now was I the only one who thought the American was in cahoots with Dracula? He seemed very suspicious at times. Like the time he was standing by the tree, looking after bats. It was all a bit strange to me.

Also was Lord Godalming not all that upset about his fiancée dying, or is he just really 1890’s British? We see him crying once and that’s pretty much it. Of course I’d want Leggy to live a happy life if I died first, but I’d be a bit pissed off, if I died and he was like “well things happen, cup of tea anyone?”

Now onto a possible controversial opinion, the Twilight vampires do seem to have some parallels to Stoker’s Dracula. Yes, I know Dracula doesn’t manifest into his best disco ball self when he is exposed to sunlight, but hear me out.

A big theme in Dracula is saving Mina and Lucy’s souls. They kill Lucy’s vampire form to a) stop her from snacking on children and b) to set her soul free/give it entrance to heaven. Mina is unclean to God from the vampire infection and it is to save her (and the world) that they set out to ultimately kill Dracula.

Now vampires possibly not having souls is a big theme in Twilight too. It is one of the major reasons why Edward is reluctant to change Bella. He seems himself as a soulless, monster and doesn’t want to put that burden on someone else. Also she’s a bit of an eejit and he’s a controlling arse, but that’s not really part of this equation.

I can see why Dracula a classic, and whilst I did enjoy reading it, it isn’t one of my all time favourite books. Not terrible, but not amazing either.

I must admit I’m very excited about this month book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Leggy and I watch the film recently, and it was really good so I have high hopes for the book. I already have it downloaded on the audible app ready to go.

I hope you’ll all have a great February and join me once again on the reading journey.

People can be arsehats

Hey everybody, CstM here. I hope you’re all doing well. So I’ve had a bit of a panic. I tried to log into my account, like I normally do, and wordpress was like “No, we don’t know you”. So I made a new account. But my new account wasn’t connected to the blog and has some really random password. Well turns out, as far as I can tell, you can’t log into wordpress on the ipad now unless, you have the app. So I think I now have two accounts and I have no clue what the password for the new account is. So yeah, I’ll just pretend like that never happened.

Happy New Year! Did you guys get to celebrate? We had a really quiet night in. I was hit with a cold right up to new year’s, so I slept through most of the 30th and was feeling a bit rough on new year’s eve. I mostly lived on cola and m&m’s that day. We never really do anything too fancy on new year’s so it wasn’t a massive loss.

Did you guys do new year’s resolutions? I kind of did. I’m trying to do 3 months of no cross stitch buying. I swear, I must have been a squirrel in a former life or something. I will tuck away things, hiding it for a rainy day and then slowly hoard way too much, because I’ll be standing in the rain thinking “Nah, I’ll save it for the hurricane!” Quite frankly I’m running out of storage space, so it’s either get bigger storage or use what I’ve already got.

My dad has a big birthday coming up later in the year, so that also ties in. I’ve started saving up for the trip abroad, in case they actually let us leave the country, and not spending money on cross stitch for 3 months will make it a lot easier to save up. And if all goes to hell I guess I can send him a nice gift.

I’ve even made savings plans and everything. I feel like a responsible adult. It’s kind of a weird feeling. I also found this savings tracker. It has three symbols, like pumpkins are 30£, acorns are 20£ and leaves are 10£. Then every time you put money into the savings you get to colour in one of the symbols. Which does make it weirdly fun to save. It’s lockdown, I’m easily amused.

So I for once made notes about the book of the months (Last time we read Carrie) and I somehow managed to lose my notepad. Great! I thought I’d have to come on here and be like “Yeah, so my dog ate my homework!” But thankfully I have Leggy, who weirdly knows where my things are. If I had a penny for every time my dad told me I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached, I’d not need to save and I’d probably need a second house for all the cross stitch shopping.

I really enjoyed reading Carrie. Although it did remind me of the fact that teenage girls suck. So much so that, that is indeed my first note about the book. Now this is very much a book of what the hell is wrong with people and why are they all such arsehats? (The people in the book, not you reading this.) Carrie is bullied in school for years, with virtually no repercussions for the bullies. Sure they took prom away from that one girl, but surely that was just too little too late. Where are the teachers in all this? I saw a Stephen King quote recently and it does pretty much sum up the book. “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” Yes, Carrie has telekinetic powers, but the real evil is in the people around her. The bullies throwing tampons at her, the teachers who doesn’t protect her, the abusive mother and the neighbours who know about the abuse but does nothing. It’s like the Edmund Burke quote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Do I condone her murdering spree in the end? No. Do I feel sorry for most of the people who died? Also no. The book started with blood and it ended with blood.

Now this month we are staying in the theme of blood and reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I have not read this before, and I’m quite excited. As someone who grew up reading Anne Rice’s sexy but evil vampires it’ll be fun to read about the old school vampires. Will be interesting to see how far vampires have changed. We’re now in the era of sparkling Twilight vampires and sexy True Blood vampires.

As we missed out on the book of the month last month I figured we’d make it a double feature. So if you feel up to it we’ll also be reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

I found this gem on YouTube whilst looking for the song Ride a white swan by T-rex. It is absolutely hilarious.

Storm part 2

Hi everyone, CstM here back for a quick update. I hope you’re all doing well and keeping warm.
This is just not our week. Although that can probably be said by a bit chunk of the area. Leggy still hasn’t had his phone signal return. The website is promising it’ll be fixing in the next 16 hours. But then it was 16 hours away from being fixed 24 hours ago. So that’s great.

Tuesday night we had a leak in the entrance hall way. The storm had completely filled the gutters with pine needles. We got a small hill of gunk out of the thing. At least the floor is concrete out there so there wasn’t that much damage.

Last night we decided to have a relaxing night. Watch the film we didn’t watch on birthday night. Well we were almost at the end of the film, when the power went off, again! So we’ve spent another night sleeping in the living room. Luckily it was only gone overnight.

We’re still waiting on the engineers to come and fix the telephone line. I’m not sure if it’s the snow and hails that keeps them away or all the fallen trees.

The phone line is somewhere in there


Hi everyone, CstM here for a quickie. I hope you’re all doing great.

We had the big storm roll over Friday. It cost us several trees, one of them my favourite holly tree and our power. Now had the trees just had the decency to fall alone, that would have been great, but sadly one of them took our phone line with it. So we have a snapped phone line and no internet.
We were without power, and water, from Friday afternoon until Monday. We’re still waiting on the people to come replace the phone line.
At least I got lucky and my mobile signal came back, so we have a small window to the outside world.
Most of all we were lucky, in that the house came out unscathed and we’re both fine.

All this to say that if Leggy hasn’t replied to an email, he hasn’t ignored you guys, he’s just not receiving anything at the moment.
Hopefully everything will be back to normal in a day or two.

The month of spookiness and soup

Hey everybody, CstM here. I hope you’re all doing amazing.
This has been the month of trying out new recipes, especially soup. Leggy has been my culinary guinea pig. A job I don’t think he minds too much.

Clockwise Potato soup, Shrimp and broccoli with homemade prawn toast, tomato soup, French onion soup and broccoli and cheddar soup

It started out with loaded potato soup, with homemade croutons. That was very delicious, although I still think it’s a slightly over glorified mash with extra steps.
Then we tried out a recipe for Broccoli and cheddar soup. Now I wasn’t really expecting too much from this soup, but dang that thing was so good. Definitely my favourite one so far. Closely followed by the tomato soup. It has roasted tomatoes and garlic in it, plus chipotle paste that gives it a nice kick. The grilled cheese sandwich even had bacon jam, which warms my Danish heart.
The French onion soup wasn’t my absolute favourite. It wasn’t terrible, just not the most amazing either.
Lastly we tried the stir fried broccoli and prawns. That was very delicious. I’d highly recommend that. Was very quick and easy to make.

I got a couple of cross stitches finished for Halloween, so that was pretty neat. I’m working on one last Halloween piece before switching to my pile of Christmas projects.

Now new things are happening. I actually finished the book of the month. I know, it’s a bit of a shock. Who saw that coming?
There will be spoilers of The Pearl coming up, so if you want to keep yourself free of those, please skip this section.
I actually really enjoyed this book. I admit I had a somewhat hard time getting into it at first. It started out very action packed with baby being stung by a scorpion, but it has moments of being quite over descriptive of the nature. Like no one cares about all the different species of fish in the water. Well at least I didn’t.
Then there was Kino and his ability to hear the song of family, the song of the ocean and so on. I’m sure it’s some metaphor or something but it just left me wondering if the guy needed to talk to a doctor or something.
Now the copy I had was 124 pages, now what I didn’t realise was that 40 of them was an extract from one of Steinbeck’s other novels. So I had a massive emotional rollercoaster reading the book. First the joy of finding the pearl, then the outrage at the pearl merchants trying to cheat Kino out of his rightful pearl price, followed by the horror of Kino turning into a bit of a twat, hitting his wife when she tries to free them of the pearl. He really should have listened to his wife. Did he learn nothing from Alien? Granted that is a bit after his time, but still. Listen to the woman!
Then as if it wasn’t dramatic enough Steinbeck throws in a bit of manslaughter and an epic run for safety up in the mountains.
Now at this point, my book till had plenty of pages let. Or so I thought. So I was in a false sense of security, thinking there was plenty of pages left. They still had loads of time to get through the mountains, sell the pearl and live happily ever after. Imagine my surprise and deep feeling of betrayal, when we went from Hey, we’re in the mountains, there’s a nice pond with wild life. It’s really pretty, a scene straight out of Bambi. And then, Bam! dead baby! Like WTF! I was not in anyway what so ever prepared for that. What sort of Game of Thrones moves are you pulling here, Mr Steinbeck. I’m still not over it. Who kills a baby?! Jesus!
So yeah, I love the book but I also kind of hate it.

November is my birthday month, so I figured we’d read the Stephen King book that I’ve been thinking about reading for a few month now. Carrie.
I’ve seen the new version of the film, so I haven an idea of what I’m going into this month. I never saw the original film, but I’ve heard it has John Travolta doing weird things, so sounds like I may have dodged a bullet there.
I hope you guys will join me in the reading and I hope you all had a great Halloween.

Curry and evils of the world

Hi everyone, CstM here I hope you’re all doing well. I am doing much better than my last post. Thank you all for your kind comments. I really do appreciate all your advice and well wishes.
I’m so sorry for the late post. Life has been busy around here, with the visit of the Welsh mothership. It was a very lovely visit. We had a dinner party, and of course I had to go all out and make two different currys and homemade onion bhajis. At least Leggy got to have a spicy curry for once, so he was happy. I’m a strictly butter chicken girl, anything else can be too spicy or has coconut in it. Dang weird allergies.
Speaking of allergies, something funny happened. Well I thought it was funny. I was oven roasting butternut squash for the curry. For some reason if I handle butternut squash with bare hands, I get a really bad rash, so I wear rubber gloves as protection. The Welsh mothership was in the kitchen watching me prepare the butternut squash, wearing my handy rubber gear and didn’t bat an eyelid. Although I guess it’s more dramatic inside my head. I always feel like some Dr. Frankenstein ready to bring my creation to life. Even if it’s just a curry.

Another thing I’m behind on is the books. I’m about half through the Hunger Games book. I’m genuinely enjoying it, I just keep getting distracted by other things. I must admit I didn’t remember the original books being this brutal. Maybe it’s because I’m older and everyone seems so much younger.
It is an interesting book though. We’re following Coriolanus Snow, as he and his classmates mentor the participants of the games. A game they are trying to make more viewer popular. Now this is a guy who, if you’ve read the original books, will become the personification of all the evil in the Capitol. But hearing his traumatic upbringing in the first rebellion, you do end up feeling sympathy for this young boy, who is just trying to survive and excel.
It does make you wonder, when does bad people turn bad.

The book reminds me in some ways of the film The motorcycle diaries. It’s a film about young Che Guevara travelling through latin America and seeing the poverty and destitution first hand, and ultimately leading him on a path of trying to make a change. Now I don’t condone what he did, but watching that film, you do get a bit of understanding of where he came from. He started out wanting to do good. Does that excuse all the evil he brought into the world? No, in no way. It just makes you understand to some degree where he was coming from.

One book that is a very good read on the topic of evil is The Lucifer Effect by Robert Zimbardo. It looks into the psychological explanation for why even good people sometimes turn evil. It goes over his Stanford prison experiment and also talks about how similar things has occurred in real life like the Abu Ghraib prison.
It is well worth a read, if you’re interested in the topic. I’m still annoyed that someone borrowed my hard back copy of the book and never returned it. Although quite ironic to steal a book about evil.

Now for this month book in the Gloom Dog book club, I went for something short. I figured there isn’t much left of October, so to make it plausible to actually finish it, it needed to be an easy read.
So this month we’ll be reading The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Cade over from Cade F.O.N Apollyon was the one who suggested it. He’s been reading along, and helped start the Gloom Dog Bookclub, so go give him a read, if you have the time. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.
I’ve heard very good things about The Pearl, so I’m excited to start reading it. I’ve only read Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, so it’ll be nice to read some more of his works.
I hope you’ll join us on our next reading adventure.